Passing of Clyde G. Berry

It is with great sadness I report the passing of Clyde G. Berry on 5 May 2018.

Photo of Clyde Berry

Clyde Berry

Clyde was an avid genealogist; he was a life member of the Maine Genealogical Society and has served as Treasurer and Director. He was a member and President of the Taconnett Falls Chapter of MGS and past President of the Penobscot Chapter of MGS. He was a life member and Past President of the Maine Old Cemetery Association as well as a member of the Board of Directors. He was a member of the New England Historical and Genealogical Society. He served as President of the Somerville Historical Society of Somerville, Maine and was involved with the publishing of the History of Patricktown/Somerville, Maine. He was a member of The Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War, descended from Labon P. Frost of Glenburn and John H. Johnson of Wellington, and also was a member and Past President of Maine Society Sons of the American Revolution, descended from Sargent Shaw, Richard Whitten and Daniel Tarbox. He was a member of the St. Andrew’s Society of Maine. He has also belonged to the Colson, Reynolds, McKusick and Hubbard family associations.

He is survived by a brother, Charles R. Berry of Glenburn, Maine, many cousins and friends.

He will be deeply missed.

2018 Award of Excellence in Genealogical Service

During the MGS 2018 Spring Workshop, Paul Doucette received the 2018 Award of Excellence in Genealogical Service. MGS President Carol P. McCoy presented the award to Paul.Congratulations Paul!

Maine Genealogical Society

Award of Excellence

In Genealogical Service

Presented to

PAUL DOUCETTE

In recognition of his enthusiasm, dedication, and leadership in genealogy as a Maine Genealogical Society director and member of the Program Committee, as a Past President of the Greater Portland Chapter MGS, and as the inspiration for the Southern Maine Genealogy Conference.

Thank you!

Maine will miss you

April 21, 2018

Photo of Paul Doucette & Carol McCoy by Don Taylor

Paul Doucette & Carol McCoy

Sharing What You Know….and what you have

By Deborah Nowers

When Joe Anderson suggested that our workshop this year should focus on writing, I was delighted.  His comment, “after all that research, if you don’t write it up; rest assured your heirs won’t either!” struck home.  I am the end of several lines of ancestors who were interested in family history and kept things.  I needed a way to share my research and document the things that I had inherited.  I also needed to find homes for documents and objects I couldn’t keep.  I hoped they would stay in the family.

I took “write it up” broadly.  In my presentation at the conference, I described four ways that I had shared what I knew and what I had.

Image for Sharing What you Know.

The first was to write a genealogy article.  I chose Gramma Withey’s table and the sampler inside that corrected the published Boynton genealogy.  The resulting article was published in The Essex Genealogist.

Then I described a collection of photographs, postcards, and documents from Grampy’s Footlocker that depicted my Grandfather’s service with the Post Office during World War I. Because it was almost exactly 100 years after his departure for France, American Ancestors magazine though it would be timely for a fall 2017 issue.

When I emptied my mother’s house, I needed to find homes for ancestral furniture that I couldn’t use.  The 1790’s canopy bed delighted my cousin’s granddaughter.  It had belonged to her 5th great-grandparents.  I decided that a children’s book describing the owners of the bed would help her—and her mother and grandmother—know its history.  “Haven’s Bed” was the result.

Finally, my husband and I found thirteen monogrammed coin silver spoons in the cellar of my mother-in-law’s house.  When we distributed them to descendants, I included a genealogy sketch that outlined the recipient’s descent from the original owner—with each one’s line highlighted.  It was practice writing for me and perhaps sparked an interest in genealogy for those who received it.

And here is the fifth way…share what you know on the MGS Blog.  It is less intimidating than articles in a prescribed format.  A post can be short.  It can be a description of how you solved a problem, or like me, tell a story about your family.  Have you discovered a great library or historical society that not enough people know about?  Tell us!  My goal is to have a posting each week; for that to happen, we need lots of help.  Give it a shot.  Submit to blog@maineroots.org.  Pictures are welcomed.

If you are reading this and want to keep up with the blog, subscribe to email notifications of new postings.  Add your email address where it says “Subscribe to Blog Via Email.”  Easy, and guaranteed it will be more interesting than most of your emails.

UPDATE—Maine Calling About Genealogy

Carol McCoy, Radio host Keith Shortall, & Nancy Mason.

UPDATE: Radio Show Available Online!

Carol & Nancy had a great show. If you missed it, it is available online at Maine Public Radio – “Genealogy: Interest In Researching Family Roots Surges.”


Wow—here’s a fun invitation. MGS is coming to Public Radio! Cindy Han, a producer of Maine Public’s Radio interactive show–Maine Calling–called to invite me to speak about genealogy on the radio this Wednesday. I’ll be a guest on Maine Calling on April 18th from 1:00 to 2:00 p.m. I’ll be joined by the show host, Keith Shortall and DNA expert Nancy Mason in the Portland studio of Maine Public Radio.

Nancy and I will be talking about doing genealogy research, especially in Maine. We are excited to answer your questions or at least try to answer them! Listeners will be able to contact us with their questions in three ways. First, you can call in on 1-800-399-3566. Second, you can email your questions to talk@mainepublic.org.
Third, you can tweet them @MaineCalling. You can listen to the show live on your local Maine Public Radio station from 1:00 to 2:00 or hear a rebroadcast at 8:00 p.m. Maine Calling will post this show on their Facebook page the morning of the show.

Maine Towns with Vital Records

MAINE GENEALOGICAL SOCIETY

MAINE TOWNS WITH VITAL RECORDS

Many original town vital records are now available to view free on the FamilySearch.org website. One must sign in to be able to view the images. Once signed in, bring up the drop-down menu “search”, select “catalog” and enter the name of the town you are searching for. The following listing shows towns and counties in Maine, many of which have been filmed and are now available on their website. Some were filmed but are not yet available to view on their website while others were never filmed. Those not filmed or unavailable online may be for records after 1896 or may have been lost due to fire or other damage to the original records. In the column entitled “Records Available”, I have indicated the years which were filmed and whether available online or not. Some records have been published and that information, when known, has been indicated in the appropriate columns. The published records may be available in many larger libraries. If a town’s records have been published in their entirety, no information has been given regarding film availability.
Marlene A. Groves

Updated 27 March 2018

Download File: Maine Towns Published.PDF

President McCoy Speaks In Scarborough

Photo of Carol McCoy & Don Taylor

Carol McCoy & Don Taylor

On February 27th, MGS President Carol P. McCoy spoke at the Scarborough Public Library Genealogy Group on “Drowning of Sam Pollack – Myth and Reality – Investigating Family Stories.” Her presentation revolved around her great-grandfather’s death when her grandmother was an infant and her research to separate myth from reality in telling his story. Her talk fascinated the 34 attendees and reminded them of important genealogical research strategies such as remaining flexible about names, dates, and religion as well as remaining creative in approaching research.The Scarborough Public Library Genealogy Group began last October and is led by MGS Member, and assistant MGS webmaster, Don Taylor. The group meets regularly at 1 PM on the fourth Monday of the month at the Scarborough Public Library. Their Facebook group page is https://www.facebook.com/groups/314420085632060/ (or search for “Scarborough Public Library Genealogy Group”).

Washington County Historical & Genealogical Society

The Washington County Historical and Genealogical Society is a group dedicated to historical preservation and genealogical research in Washington County, Maine. By working together historical societies, genealogists, and researchers can pool their limited resources, collaborate on larger scale projects, and promote each other’s work.
Members receive a quarterly newsletter Weirs & Woods, which features free queries, information and the exchange of genealogical material, in addition to news from the affiliating Washington County historical societies.  Membership in the WCHGS is open to anyone interested in learning more about their family genealogy and/or the history of Washington County and neighboring Charlotte County, New Brunswick.  Officers include President, Betsy Fitzgerald of Bucks Harbor; Vice President, Celeste Sherman of Machiasport; Secretary, Valdine Atwood of Machias, and Treasurer, Carole Sprague of Marshfield.

WCH&GS Contact Information –   Officers:

Annual dues, $10 per calendar year: Send to Treasurer Carole Sprague, 301 Ridge Rd., Marshfield, ME 04654 – Check payable to WCH&GS: Regular meetings of WCHGS will be on a quarterly basis. ‘Extra meetings’ could be held during the year at the approval of the membership. Historical societies can affiliate themselves with WCHGS by donating to the Society.

Newsletter – Weirs & Woods –

Send Changes of Address to: Celeste Sherman at folknoter@maineline.net.Send submissions for what is going on, Queries, Reunions, and stories on Washington County History or Genealogy to Valdine Atwood at valdine@myfairpoint.net or by mail to 17 Colonial Way, Machias, ME 04654 

Membership

Membership in the Washington County His­torical & Genealogical Society is by the calendar year, January to December. For those joining later in the year, newsletters already published will be sent to you. The reason for this policy, we are a small organization so it is too difficult to keep track of mid-year renewals.

2018 Spring Workshop – Writing Your Family History

Writing Your Family History

Guest Speaker: Joseph C. Anderson, II FASG

April 21, 2018 – 9:00am to 4:00 pm

(Registration from 8 to 9)

Elks Lodge, 397 Civic Center Drive, Augusta, ME 04330

What do I do with all the research I have accumulated? The simple answer is to write it up, publish it, and make your family proud.The Spring Workshop, led by the editor of The Maine Genealogist, Joseph C. Anderson, will cover the steps to turn your yellowing, dusty files into the printed word.  Along the way, you will learn many of the tricks and tools that professional writers use to make the writing process simpler.The morning session will delve into a range of topics, including:
  • Defining the writing project
  • Assembling your research notes
  • Using writing as a research tool
  • Compiling a resource and style sheet
  • Exploring ways to make your writing come alive
  • Choosing a publisher to fit your project and budget
The afternoon session will focus on how to write for a genealogical periodical and include a presentation by MGS’s Membership Secretary, Deb Nowers, on how family heirlooms inspired her to write about her ancestors. Wrapping up, there will be a session covering illustrations, indexes and bibliographies, copyright considerations, and the printing process.  If you have ever considered writing a blog, a family newsletter, or a book about that quirky ancestor, this workshop will give you the tools to make that happen. Because, after all that research, if you don’t write it up; rest assured, your heirs won’t either!
Joseph C. Anderson II is the editor of The Maine Genealogist, coeditor of The American Genealogist, consulting editor of Vermont Genealogy, and editor of MGS’s Maine Families in 1790 project. He has authored or edited eighteen books on various genealogical subjects and contributed dozens of articles to genealogical journals. In 2000 he was appointed a Fellow of the American Society of Genealogists (FASG).

SOLD OUT

 

Maine Marriage Records

“Seeing the Light Through a Brick Wall” – Photo Credit: By counterclockwise via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

I had the opportunity to be a Genealogy “brick wall buster” at the MGS Genealogy Fair last July. What a great experience. They say, “In teaching others we teach ourselves.[i]” Likewise, helping others with their “brick walls” is an amazing process wherein the helper learns. One of my querists wanted to know, “How to find marriage records in Maine.”

As I thought about how I would approach the question I thought of several Wikis and asked the person if they used the Family Search wiki. She said, “No.” As I went through the day, I realized how few people knew about the two best genealogy wiki sites on the Internet. Everyone I spoke to during the day used Family Search and Ancestry.Com, but none of them ever used either of the two wikis; most didn’t even know they existed.

I prefer the Family Search wiki. http://familysearch.org/wiki.  It seems always to provide the answer to my research questions.  For example, a search for Maine Marriage Records brings me to a page that explained the differences in records before 1892, between 1892 and 1922, and since 1922 and described where to find them.

The Ancestry Wiki: http://ancestry.com/wiki/ is also a hidden gem – a fountain of information. Many people have subscriptions to Ancestry and many others access Ancestry through their local libraries, but I found few use the Ancestry Wiki. The results I received from searching the Ancestry Wiki for “Maine Marriage Records,” was not quite as clear as Family Search but did quickly lead me to a Maine Vital Records page, which also told me all I needed to know.

The Maine Genealogy Network is one of my favorite sites for specifically Maine research. They have many Maine Specific databases, see http://www.mainegenealogy.net/databases.asp for a list of them. There is also a great article about “Finding Maine County Marriage Returns,” which explains methods to access some of the early Maine marriage records that may exist. 

MGS has a series of books on vital records. See the MGS Vital Records Page for more information. Books currently in print include:

VITAL RECORDS OF ________, MAINE

  • ARROWSIC to 1939. Compiled by Deb Grana & Marlene A. Groves.
  • BRUNSWICK. Compiled by Joseph Crook Anderson II, CG, FASG.
  • CAMDEN/ROCKPORT. Compiled by Marlene A. Groves, CG.
  • CASTINE. Compiled by James H. Wick.
  • CUSHING to 1940. Compiled & ed. by Marlene A. Groves & Steven E. Sullivan.
  • DOVER-FOXCROFT. Compiled by John F. Battick, Ph.D. and Nancy Klimavicz Battick, M.A
  • DRESDEN. Compiled by Marlene A. Groves.
  • EDGECOMB. Compiled by Marlene A. Groves.
  • ETNA. by Arthur Gibbs Sylvester and Richard E. Spinney.
  • GOULDSBORO. Compiled by Wil Cote.
  • ISLESBORO. and ed. by Marlene Alma Hinkley Groves, CG
  • LISBON. by Marlene Alma Hinkley Groves.
  • MERCER. Compiled by Marlene A. Groves.
  • MINOT. Compiled by Joseph Crook Anderson II, CG, FASG.
  • MOUNT VERNON. by Sally Furber Nelson & Janet McCarthy Weymouth
  • NEWCASTLE. Compiled by Marlene A. Groves.
  • OLD TOWN. Ed. by Ruth Gray
  • ORLAND. Compiled by James H. Wick.
  • SMITHFIELD. Compiled by Marlene A. Groves.
  • SOUTH THOMASTON. Comp. and ed. by Marlene A. Groves, CG
  • THOMASTON 1837 TO 1846. by Steven Edward Sullivan.
  • THOMASTON. Compiled by Marlene A. Groves, CG.
  • WARREN. Compiled by Marlene A. Groves, CG.
  • WAYNE. Compiled by Marlene A. Groves.
  • WOOLWICH. Compiled by Marlene A. Groves.

Besides being available from the Maine Genealogical Society (MGS), they and many other out-of-print books in the series are available at libraries and historical societies. Check Minerva or for libraries where they may be available.

[i] Proverb.

President Elect’s Remarks September 16, 2017

MGS Annual Meeting, Point Lookout, Northport, Maine

Carol Prescott McCoy, Ph.D. (cmccoy3333@aol.com.)

Thanks to Helen Shaw CG for all you’ve done as president of MGS for the past five years. You’ve worked tirelessly with the state legislature to ensure that we have access to vital records, and to ensure access to and preservation of cemeteries. Also, thank you to the Board of Directors for all your hard work. These excellent conferences could not occur without your dedication.

I’m excited about becoming MGS president. As a MGS Director and a past chapter president, I know how much work is involved. When I moved from NYC to Maine 26 years ago, I never dreamed I would be in this position. I love this state and I love genealogy. What a great opportunity for me.

I want to share with you five broad goals for MGS for the next couple of years.

(1)   The Board would like to improve our communication with our chapters. I personally hope to visit each of our chapters to meet people, learn about your projects and goals, and find ways the Board and chapters can work together for everyone’s benefit.

(2)   MGS intends to have a top-notch website. Thank you, Brian and Don, for all you’ve done to improve our website. Buying publications and registering for events online has been greatly simplified. Now let’s get genealogy and history resources throughout the state documented and publicized on the website.

(3)   The Board wants to help build skills and confidence of MGS members so you feel more prepared to serve as an MGS officer, to write genealogy articles, and to transcribe vital records. Our Spring Conference on April 28th in Augusta will be on Writing Genealogy and will feature our own Publications Director, Joseph Crook Anderson II.

(4)   MGS would like to strengthen our partnerships with other organizations such as the Maine Historical Society, Maine State Library, and Maine State Archives. We already work well together and we can find ways to do even more together.

(5)   We’d like to encourage more member involvement. To that end, I’d like to form a guidance committee with MGS members from throughout the state and from other geographic areas to get your ideas on how MGS can serve everyone.

Please contact me atcmccoy3333@aol.com if you’d like to discuss this.

Latest Additions to the Members Only Content Area

In June we added 2 new items to our Members Only content area.MGS Members in good standing can access the Members Only section of the website as one of the many benefits of joining our society.  In June we created a new section of Town Reports and added the first 2 town reports of what we expect to be many to the collection:

Eustis Town Report for the Fiscal Year Ending February 1899
Porter Town Report (including Brownfield) for the Fiscal Year ending February 1919

Town reports are an often overlooked resource for genealogists. Many beginner (and some advanced) researchers don’t understand the value of these resources. Many town reports include vital statistics for the town, offering births, deaths and marriages for the given year.   This can be particularly helpful for the all too often “All our records were destroyed in a fire years ago” story genealogists are faced with.  Often charity and support for residents is also called out as is information pertaining to schools, including teachers’ salaries.  Expenditures of the town sometimes include to whom payments were made.  For example, in the Eustis Town report mentioned above includes a section of bills of the town.  As part of this section we learn of $135 bill for “Insane Hospital for support of Susannah Moody, Geo. Ricker, R.B. Green and O. White”

What information is waiting to be found in the town reports where your ancestors lived?

Member Query: BABCOCK

MGS member, Katherine Adamo recently sent us the following information and related query:

I am specifically looking for any documentation that can support a connection between father or mother (Samuel Babcock III & Mehitable Pierce) to their son Calvin Babcock. I have a death record for Calvin which states his fathers name as Lemuel Babcock and mother as M. Pierce. I also have census records but no name for Calvin just ages in household that fit with place and time. After extensive and exhaustive research, I have been unable to locate any Lemuel Babcocks in the entire state of Maine. Only one Lemuel Babcock in MA but wife is totally different. I found sister, Susan Pierce death record which states father as Sam’l Babcock, and mother as M. Pierce (maiden name). Pertinent information:There are 3 Samuel Babcocks in Augusta Maine during this time period. Listed as Samuel Babcock Sr. or just Samuel Babcock, Samuel Babcock Jr or II, and Samuel Babcock III. After Samuel Babcock Sr died, Samuel Babcock III became known as Samuel Babcock Jr or II. All mentioned in Martha Ballard’s Diary. Martha died prior to the birth of Calvin.

His sister was Sarah Babcock DOB c 1814 Augusta ME, and no sadly I do not have the documentation to support the connection, who first married John Wright, then later a Pierce.  The death record is Sarah Pierce.  It was on her daughter Dolly’s death record that she mentions her mother’s maiden name Babcock, and supported by Sarah Pierce’s DR with parents.  I did place Sarah in the household as well with her mother Mehitable, and two brothers Alexander and Stephen, both of whom are named in land deeds.  By this time Calvin was already out of the home, married and living in either Orono ME or Newburg.  Interesting though is that an Asa W Babcock, whom I believe is the son of Calvin’s grandfather’s brother Jeremiah Babcock.  They were both in Orono ME and living very close to each other, and interestingly enough he was again in the census in Bangor ME where Calvin lived.  So this would have been a 2nd cousin of his, but Asa W. Babcock was also born in Augusta ME but at an earlier time, and became a very wealthy businessman.  However, after searching through so many records, I again could not find any connection to Calvin.  I have taken the time to contact the United Methodist church in Orono ME, that has been established since early 1820 for any further information on marriage records and  any family connection, however they have not replied to my multiple attempts. The Babcock families are listed in the Maine Families of 1790, Vol 4, 6 and 8, which actually inspired me to purchase the entire set of volumes for my library.  This family is also mentioned in Martha Ballard’s Diary, as I mentioned, however Martha passed away prior to Calvin’s birth.  I will keep on looking, but at this point I think I’ve done all I can do from Florida and online searching.  What is needed now is feet on the ground digging and any assistance, or direction to point to whom might help would be so very very welcome.  Thank you again for your reply and if I do solve this problem I will most certainly consider publishing the article.

Samuel Babcock III, born about 1775 Augusta ME; death October 1898 Augusta, Kennebec Co ME
Mehitable born abt. 1776; death after 1850 Augusta Kennebec Co Me.
Calvin born about 1817 Augusta, Kennebec Co Me; Married Sarah Miller abt 1840 in Orono Penobscot ME;  death 1893 Bangor Penobscot Co Maine 

From tracing the census records, Calvin Babcock left the family home around the age of 23 to go to Orono ME.  I found a land deed record for Mehitable Babcock, naming two older sons, Alexander Babcock, and Stephen Babcock.  According to the Geni, they are not accepting the fact that LEmuel, is SAmuel (note 2 letter difference), with only an initial for mother Mehitable Pierce and are requesting another connection to the generation.

I have been researching land deed records, but so far have been unable to make any connections.

If you can help Katherine find additional information about her she can be reached via email at flrn@comcast.net